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Manufactured Home Community Rent Decontrol Activists Paid to attend Chula Vista meeting

July 27th, 2011 Comments off

City of Chula Vista CA logoSignOnSanDiego alleged that owners of a “mobile home park” packed a meeting of the Chula Vista City Council meeting by paying activists to support rent decontrol.  The City Council voted to allow rent to be raised when a home in the community is sold.  The change in ordinance impacts future residents, not current ones. Reportedly 100 of close to 300 attendees in a July 12 meeting were paid $20 each to support the revised ordinance.  A group of young people were paid to wear green “Yes on Rent Decontrol” stickers.  Perhaps 50 attended a second reading of the ordinance July 19 were paid $40 each.   The president of the Chula Vista Mobile Home Residents Association, Penny Vaughn, expressed outrage.  The executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, Peter Scheer, said paying people to attend is “sleazy in the extreme.” A principal of the manufactured home community, John Wainio, was in Martha’s Vineyard and said he paid no one. Matthew Donnellan, president of the San Diego County Young Republicans reportedly explained that paying people to attend meeting was not an uncommon practice by Democrats or Republicans, adding he was not aware of such payments regarding this meeting.  Resident Ray McMurty, 62 and on social security, said $40 goes a long way in helping with groceries.

(Image is City of Chula Vista’s logo)